An Open Letter to Charlie Wilson

Dear Charlie,

It is with some regret that I write this letter. Where once I held you in rather high regard, I now feel disappointment. I believed that you would have been more aware and responsive to your constituents’ sentiments during your term as a U.S. Congressman. Instead, I believe you disconnected from your District to a significant degree. I would like to remind you of several occurrences and, at the same time, enlighten the voters of our District.

While you were in the Ohio House of Representatives, you contacted me requesting information regarding Anesthesia Assistants (AA’s) as a bill had been proposed and you weren’t knowledgeable about the profession. I told you I would do the research and get back to you.

When I relayed my findings to you, you informed me that the bill had already been passed and that you voted in favor of it. Is that what happened with the Healthcare Bill, Charlie? Did you vote in favor of it without knowing the content or understanding the ramifications? Does, “we won’t have to worry about that” ring a bell?

During your campaign for the U.S. Congress, my professional organization, The American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA), contacted me to ask if I thought we, as a profession, should endorse your campaign. Although I felt you were remiss concerning the AA issue, I felt you deserved another chance and told the AANA exactly that. Subsequently, the AANA supported your campaign with a check for $1,000. which I personally delivered to your office in Bridgeport.

After you secured the Congressional seat, I watched with growing dismay, as did many others, your apparent disconnect from your District. I wrote to you in August of 2009 outlining my concerns of the Healthcare Reform Act. I received, in response, a generic form letter that acknowledged my communication but didn’t address my concerns. Instead, it maintained your support of the Act. Moreover, it was addressed to “Mrs. Grady”, not my name. Shortly after that correspondence, I e-mailed you again, suggesting that you read the Letters to the Editor written by a number of dissatisfied voters in your District as the letters were becoming increasingly angry regarding your performance in Washington. I didn’t even receive an acknowledgment of that letter. After you lost your bid for re-election, I had an opportunity to speak to you and brought to your attention my effort to enlighten you of your District’s discontent. You appeared to be taken by surprise and blamed your Communication Staff for not bringing those missives to your attention. I remind you that only your name appears on that letter defending your vote and that ultimately, you are responsible, not your Communication Staff.

In an interview dated July 16, 2012, you stated that although there are measures in the Healthcare Bill you support, you would have preferred other provisions to be phased in over time.

Regarding the Healthcare Bill, the article quotes you as saying, “When it came back from the Senate it was “take it or leave it”, here is the way it’s going to be.” So, despite your concerns and those of a seemingly large portion of your constituency, you voted in favor of the Healthcare Reform Act.

Frankly, Charlie, I feel that you are self-serving and will not vote for you again.


Leslie O’Grady